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Defensive line, secondary focus of Sooners' recruiting class in prolific Big 12

Attempting to stiffen up a defense that faded late for a second straight season, Oklahoma loaded up along the front line and in the secondary Wednesday on national signing day.

Coach Bob Stoops and his staff received letters of intent from seven defensive linemen and four defensive backs, making up just under half of a 23-player recruiting class. Junior college transfer Quincy Russell is among four defensive tackles in the class, with in-state products D.J. Ward at defensive end and Stanvon Taylor at cornerback highlighting those position groups.

Stoops says he believes the Sooners addressed their "major needs" through the recruiting class.

Oklahoma also added running back Keith Ford and quarterback Cody Thomas, a major-league baseball prospect who Stoops says is committed to playing football for the Sooners.